The Predator is said to be a reinvention of the franchise. Predator franchise began with the 1987 film Predator that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as the primary protagonist. The franchise features a race of extraterrestrials who travel through space to ‘hunt’ other species and collect trophies by either skinning the corpses or decapitating them. These highly agile and advanced aliens are far stronger than humans and heal quickly.
Apart from the main Predator series that has had four movies including The Predator, there are also two crossovers with the Alien franchise called Alien vs Predator and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. The original Predator had director Shane Black in a minor role, and the filmmaker, who is know for Iron Man 2, returns to the franchise in the role of The Predator’s director.
The Predator stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown. The film has received mixed to positive reviews. It holds a 36% rating at review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
The consensus reads, “The Predator’s energetic blend of black humor and fast-paced action hits just hard enough to nudge this oft-waylaid franchise back on track while setting up sequels to come.”
AV Club’s AA Dowd praised the film and said that Shane Black was true to the spirit of the 80s and 90s’ extraterrestrial action films without being carried away by all the nostalgia. In a review headlined “1989 called, and it wants its Predator sequel back”, he wrote, “Black has captured the spirit of that bygone era of adrenaline-junkie junk without getting all retro-fussy about it.”
Nerdist’s Katie Walsh said Black may not have been the right person to direct The Predator. She writes, “Black may be a part of this franchise’s origins, but as the messy, chaotic, and convoluted The Predator proves, he’s not the right filmmaker to shepherd this property to its next evolution.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Jordan Mintzer writes, “Black’s movie is so cleverly over-the-top that it’s easy and pleasurable enough to watch, though never exactly scary or suspenseful.”
Collider’s Perri Nemiroff called the film “misguided”. She writes, “There are sparks of Shane Black’s humor and style lining up with the brutality and bite of the 1987 original, but they are few and far between because the end product feels misguided, and like it’s been sliced and diced to the point of semi-incoherence.”
The Predator hit Indian screens on September 13.